Bob Collins demonstrates the tree-tapping process during the Maple Syrup Festival at Arrowvale Farm on Sunday, March 3. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Alberni Valley farm celebrates all things maple

Arrowvale Campgound and Collins Farm hosted annual Maple Syrup Festival

Arrowvale Campground and Collins Farm hosted its annual Maple Syrup Festival on Sunday, March 3, drawing families to the farm on Hector Road to get an up-close look at how bigleaf maple syrup is made.

Visitors strolled the farm on Sunday, visiting the petting farm and enjoying maple treats in the cafe. Meanwhile, Bob Collins demonstrated the syrup-making process.

The Collins family has been bottling up maple syrup for around 13 years, he explained on Sunday, but the industry is still a “relatively new” one on the west coast. Maple syrup can be made from any kind of maple tree, but bigleaf maple trees are the most common on Vancouver Island.

“We use the bigleaf maple,” Collins explained. “It has a more robust flavour.”

Bigleaf maples grow from northern California to the mid-coast of British Columbia, which makes the syrup relatively unique. “This is the only place in the world they have them,” said Collins. “On the Pacific Coast.”

Collins works out of the sugar shack on the farm, feeding a wood-fired cast iron stove in order to boil the sap. The sap, which sits at about two percent sugar content, is boiled until the sugar content reaches 66 percent. Approximately 40 jugs of sap makes one jug of syrup. Collins collects about 15-18 litres of sap per day out of each tree, but the amount is weather-dependent. The trees need a winter freeze in order to get a heavy volume—in 2010, the warm winter meant that the Collinses made no syrup.

It’s a slow process, said Collins, but it works.

“There’s no additives,” he explained. “It’s just the syrup.”

The Collins Farm isn’t the only place in the Alberni Valley cooking up syrup. Hupacasath First Nation started their own bigleaf maple syrup venture with Kleekhoot Gold in 2015. Production for Kleekhoot Gold is now underway for the 2019 season and is available for pre-order.



elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

A friendly goat greets visitors at Arrowvale Campground and Collins Farm during the Maple Syrup Festival on Sunday, March 3. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Just Posted

Ladybird ends undefeated season with Spring League championship

Port Alberni spring basketball league ended after three weeks of playoffs

Port Alberni riders compete in Pony Club championships in Courtenay

Two riders earn ribbons at regional competition

Port Alberni contractor earns safety award

Mosaic Forest Management honoured 10 Vancouver Island contractors

Courtenay-Alberni Greens name Sean Wood as federal candidate

Nomination meeting took place June 15 at Hupacasath Hall in Port Alberni

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District approves one cannabis store, denies another

Stores would have been located across the street from one another in Cherry Creek

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

B.C. students’ camping trip goes ahead despite tents getting stolen

Nanaimo businesses, school staff and parents ensure trip goes on

Only legal pot shop between Vancouver and Kamloops now open

Private cannabis store on Skwah land in Chilliwack is first B.C. licensee to be Indigenous owned

Canadian communities responding to climate change

New research highlights state of local adaptation planning in Canada

Victoria woman in L.A. hospital after she was run over twice

Lynn Phillips has suffered from multiple broken bones and internal bleeding

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

B.C. judge defies lawyers and adds six months to man’s sex assault sentence

‘I find the joint submission is contrary to the public interest and I’m rejecting it’

Most Read